We need a name for the area just beyond the Old City all around Depot from Central to Gay, out each to Broadway. There is much happening in that area that I find myself writing about it on a routine basis these days. The Southern Railway Station, this week, purchases in the area recently, a new theater emerging, the development of the Old Knoxville High School, the Regas Purchase finalized this week, the White Lily project nearing its finish. That’s a lot going on.
I have to remember when I complain about how centered everyone is on Market Square and the immediate section beside it on Gay Street that we are slowly – and sometimes painfully – spreading out. It may be a while before anyone from outside downtown and our ring neighborhoods to the north realize it, but other pieces of the puzzle really are coming together.
It turns out that the new residents of the White Lily Building will be able to maintain a serious level of fitness without walking too far. The McNutt-Burks building at 309 N. Central Street, owned by David Dewhirst and most recently used as storage, will be converted into Rocky Top Crossfit by the owners of the Charlotte, North Carolina gym South Charlotte Crossfit.
The rehab of the building has been undertaken by Dewhirst Properties. Daniel Odle of Conversion Properties worked with them to broker a deal with the new client. It’s a nice example of complimentary companies working together downtown. I hope to have an interview with owner Jeremy McDonnell in this space, soon.
The Crossfit concept, as I understand it, involves using multiple training methods in short bursts. Their introductory session, for example, promises a fifteen to twenty minute run through of the program, but they guarantee it will be enough. I got tired just looking at the pictures. The program is rigorous and is used to train special op forces (Jeremy was in a special unit in the military), police forces and others but, according to their website, they use the same program for “elderly individuals with heart disease as for cage fighters one month out from a televised fight.” The difference is in the scale of the workouts.
Jeremy’s name may be familiar to those of you whose blood runs deep orange – and I mean deeper than the football program. He swam for UT and for the US Swim team. With that background in swimming, one of his specialties is water training. With his UT background, this becomes a sort of homecoming venture for him.
With the addition of this new business a half block from the new residences at the White Lily Building as well as other new residences in other buildings nearby, the new activity at the Southern Railway Station and Depot, the purchase of the Regas Building and the prospect of something interesting on the nearby corner of Central and Magnolia recently purchased by Jeffry Nash and the area has significant momentum going into the new year.